This is one of those posts I figure is best offer a warning about. I'm talking about recent news about "male enhancement". Click through if you want to read about it.
The Drudge Report linked to this AFP article on a study that says men can make their penises longer. The study involved a review of medical literature and was published in the Journal of the British Association of Urological Surgeons.
A male member -- measured on the dorsal, or upper, side -- can be considered normal in length if it is at least four centimetres (1.6 inches) when limp, and 7.5 centimetres (three inches) when rigid, noted several of the studies evaluated.
Most sources I have seen have said the average is between 5-7 inches in the erect length, mostly in the 5+ range.
Among the non-invasive methods, tested on 109 subjects, so-called penile extenders that stretch the phallus through traction were shown to be most effective.
One study reported an average increase of 1.8 centimetres (0.7 inches), while another measured an extra 2.3 centimetres (0.9 inches) in a flaccid state, and 1.7 centimetres (0.67 inches) when erect.
But the regimen for achieving these gains was arduous: six hours of daily traction over four months in the first case, and four hours every day over six months in the second.
Is that really worth it? And I'm not sure why it matters what the size is when flaccid. I guess that is strictly shower/swimsuit showing off? Seems to me that men are better off making sure they are physically fit.
Another device, known as a "penis pump," uses a manual or motorised pump to create a vacuum inside a hard cylinder sheath, stretching the phallus.
Six months of treatment, however, "was not found to be effective for penile elongation, although is provided some sort of psychological satisfaction for some men," the researchers said.
Must be the ability to feel a connection with Austin Powers.
So-called peno-scrotal rings -- expandable or rigid bands that fit around the base of the scrotum and penis -- "might help to augment penile size and maintain erections in men suffering from anxiety", they reported, but only two cases were evaluated.
Advertisements claiming that another popular technique -- so-called "penile lengthening exercises" -- can add centimetres or inches to one's manhood are unfounded, say Oderda and Gontero.
Even the methods that did show some increase in length did not result in a gain in thickness, they noted.
But nor was their shrinkage.
"It is interesting that no girth decrease was reported with traction therapy, as one would have instinctively thought," the researchers said.
Most boys (and some grown men, obviously) do worry about this at some point or another. If a boy happens to catch a glimpse of his father naked, in underwear, or in revealing swimwear, his father, obviously post-pubescent, may look huge to him, and he might wonder if he'll ever get like that.
I don't know if women can fully understand the relationship a boy or a man has with his penis – how he thinks about it.
I used to worry, until I read the "5-7" range somewhere I considered trustworthy and I compared that with a measurement I'd taken around age 17 during a particularly strong erection. Then years later, after the third girlfriend in a row made positive comments on my size that were made apart from a moment of passion, the issue was definitely put to rest for me.
But guys will always be insecure about this, and spend money looking for more size. And there will always be some guy with more, just like there will always be a woman with a better body somewhere out there. A lot of women say it doesn’t matter. Others say it does. Extreme size, either way, will limit how or what positions and techniques can be tried in lovemaking. But the way I see it, vaginas are designed to pass babies, and a penis is never going to be that big.